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Mining Blue Gold: The Impact of Sea Industries on Europe

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Mining Blue Gold: The Impact of Sea Industries on Europe

Mining Blue Gold: The Impact of Sea Industries on Europe

There is always money to be made on the new frontier. Sometimes it may feel like the Wild West, but that’s where the opportunity is. That’s why there are about a dozen private space companies vying for domination outside the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s also the reason that there is a rising tide on the deep blue sea, where billions are being made each year.

This infographic focuses on Europe in particular, where the United Kingdom is nautical miles ahead of anyone else in terms of developing sea-related industries. In fact, just the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry is larger than the total coastal output of any other EU country. At a staggering €36 billion per year, it is over 60% bigger than Greece’s entire coastal output of €22 billion.

Offshore oil and gas, as a whole, is the second biggest industry relating to Europe’s coasts. It generates 80% of Europe’s oil in total, but is expected to half by 2030. The biggest industry is transport for cargo and passengers at a total of €55 billion and 40% of costs go towards fuel.

Coastal tourism is the third biggest industry as a whole at €49 billion and employs about 1.6 million Europeans. It’s the biggest industry on the coasts of places like Italy and Spain.

Original graphic from: Technologist

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Energy

Visualized: Renewable Energy Capacity Through Time (2000–2023)

This streamgraph shows the growth in renewable energy capacity by country and region since 2000.

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The following content is sponsored by National Public Utilities Council

Visualized: Renewable Energy Capacity Through Time (2000–2023)

Global renewable energy capacity has grown by 415% since 2000, or at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4%.

However, many large and wealthy regions, including the United States and Europe, maintain lower average annual renewable capacity growth.

This chart, created in partnership with the National Public Utilities Council, shows how each world region has contributed to the growth in renewable energy capacity since 2000, using the latest data release from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Renewable Energy Trends in Developed Economies

Between 2000 and 2023, global renewable capacity increased from 0.8 to 3.9 TW. This was led by China, which added 1.4 TW, more than Africa, Europe, and North America combined. Renewable energy here includes solar, wind, hydro (excluding pumped storage), bioenergy, geothermal, and marine energy.

During this period, capacity growth in the U.S. has been slightly faster than what’s been seen in Europe, but much slower than in China. However, U.S. renewable growth is expected to accelerate due to the recent implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Overall, Asia has shown the greatest regional growth, with China being the standout country in the continent.

Region2000–2023 Growth10-Year Growth (2013–2023)1-Year Growth (2022–2023)
Europe313%88%10%
China1,817%304%26%
United States322%126%9%
Canada57%25%2%

It’s worth noting that Canada has fared significantly worse than the rest of the developed world since 2000 when it comes to renewable capacity additions. Between 2000 and 2023, the country’s renewable capacity grew only by 57%.  

Trends in Developing Economies

Africa’s renewable capacity has grown by 184% since 2000 with a CAGR of 4%. 

India is now the most populous country on the planet, and its renewable capacity is also rapidly growing. From 2000–2023, it grew by 604%, or a CAGR of 8%.

It is worth remembering that energy capacity is not always equivalent to power generation. This is especially the case for intermittent sources of energy, such as solar and wind, which depend on natural phenomena.

Despite the widespread growth of renewable energy worldwide, IRENA emphasizes that global renewable generation capacity must triple from its 2023 levels by 2030 to meet the ambitious targets set by the Paris Agreement.

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